"Egret" N4674 - Scott and Mary Flanders
Ed. note: On February 10, 2011, Scott and Mary Flanders, on board their Nordhavn 46, Egret, arrived in the Canary Islands. In doing so, Egret became the eighth Nordhavn to circumnavigate the globe. It had been four years, five months since the couple departed Gran Canaria, intent on seeing as much of the earth as possible, although not necessarily with an end goal to circle the globe. Voyage of Egret do cuments the Flanders’ entire trip, an endless adventure that has put them intouch with the most fabulous places and interesting people. Much route planning and forecasting was required in order to get to some of their ports of call. But the days of detailed planning areover…fornow.“Egret” is now back in Fort Lauderdale, the place the couple called home for so many years, and, ironically, the starting point of their world wide cruising escapade that began with the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally in 2004. They currently travel hither and yon, sometimes by boat, sometimes not.Here, the latest update from the Flanders as they keep us continually apprised.
October 24, 2014
Position: Behind a friend’s house, Ft Lauderdale, Florida
Hello mis amigos, the Egret crew spent 2 days in Southport Marina, North Carolina. We stopped to get wifi to send the last posting, do laundry and take a break from long days and no time off the boat. What a great place, eh? Southport is as pretty a small southern town as anywhere. The area close to the marina is full of homes from the 1800’s and very early 1900’s like this one built in 1879. I They are all in great shape and the ones that needed attention are under restoration. There is a large marshland park bordering the marina that extends over to a small peninsula filled with ol’ tyme fish markets and funky restaurants. Of course we had to eat local fried everything including a basket of hush puppys the first night in the marina.
Dick took off the next morning to find a store and top up the milk and eggs. It was quite a hike. Along the way a number of people chatted him up and two offered him a ride including a bakery owner. This is very different than New Zealand. Kiwi’s are more reserved up front until they get to know you and even then they are still somewhat reserved.
We took advantage of the bow in, port side tie. Mary washed the salon glass with vinegar to get rid of the calcium spots and I did a little buffing and waxing. Two people stopped by and began the conversation by saying how nice Egret looks. One was a yacht broker who we gently declined his service, and the second was the marina manager who introduced himself and was looking for work. He was a super nice guy I liked immediately and he too complimented Egret. I told him a little of our travels and he said it was so nice to see a boat that went somewhere and she was very different than the ‘clorox bottles’ they normally work on.
Mary shot this fishing scene from the marshland boardwalk near sunset. The fisherman in the bow is holding a cast net looking for bait. This photo is for George who grew up in North Carolina.
We left this morning in the dark to make a bridge a few miles away that only opens on the hour. These days the bridge is a 65’ fixed bridge. I suppose we should print a current Intracoastal bridge mileage and height chart.
We had a little techno we can pass along. After 36 hours or so in the marina I went below for something and noticed the battery voltage was 12.65 volts instead of the usual shore power 13+ volts. Hummm. The battery charger breaker was turned on at the panel. So I reset the inverter/charger by turning the switch on the side off for 30 seconds, then back on. No chargee. Then I turned on the stand alone 50/60 cycle charger and it began charging big time. Trying to trace down the problem, first I checked the breaker that turns on and off the battery charger within the inverter/charger. It was fine but we did find there was 260 volts across the terminals. Wow!! Anyhow, to make a long story short, Egret has a 12kw isolation transformer for use in 50 cycle countries. In addition we had an additional boost switch installed. U.S. 60 cycle is 240 volts. European 50 cycle is 220 volts. In 50 cycle countries we turn the switch to boost the voltage to 240 volts. We had done just that in Iceland for the winter and I had forgotten. Apparently the two times we were on shore power in the U.S. the voltage hadn’t been a full 240 volts so the battery charger worked. Another lesson learned for the electrical challenged Egret crew.
It was another beautiful fall day on the Intracoastal. There was a nice breeze, not too hot and other than weekend small boat traffic around populated areas we had the ditch to ourselves. Its funny how you remember things along the way like this bright home painted different from the norm. They must be cruisers with a sense of adventure unlike the boring houses nearby.
We haven’t mentioned birds along the way. The farther south we get, the more bird life. Some are local birds like this eagle looking into the light, and others are migrating like these shore birds working a low tide shoreline as well as these ibis heading to their roost lit up pink by the setting sun. The ibis are way cool because the formation looks like a duck in flight complete with an eye. Then there were white pelicans on their way south as well. Other than the Florida Keys during the winter, we haven’t seen white pelicans since Australia. Unlike our local brown pelicans that dive for fish, white pelicans paddle and dredge for fish. We’ve seen white pelicans working individually but also lined up in a row herding fish into shallow water.
Yesterday afternoon we passed Charleston without stopping. Dick got to see the waterfront mansions built years ago. Leaving Charleston Harbor heading south there is a tidal channel where the tide screams. The tide can be your friend or not. In this case the tide was beginning to fall toward Charleston inlet so we had a little head current but at least it was high tide. Head current is good at times because here again in this case there is a bridge in the cut that opens on the hour and half hour. So we had to wait for 20 minutes holding against the tide.
In cases where the tide is flowing in the direction of a bridge we just turn around and head into the tide to wait. Two bridges so far on this trip opened on the hour and we had a 50 minute wait in both cases. When this happens we just anchor in the channel about a half mile before the bridge, shut down and wait.
Once she got thru the bridge we began looking for a safe place to anchor for the night. There was a place to anchor opposite a flashing green maker across the channel in deep water and a protective shallow spot to the north. Commercial traffic that runs at night usually run from flashing marker to the next so any traffic would be well away. Incidentally, the depth on the chart is meters, not feet.
The Intracoastal’s dredge funding was pulled during the last administration. &^$@@%&* A few states have dredged on their own but in a number of cases the Intracoastal is shallowing. Just a few minutes ago at low tide the depth finder showed 5.4 feet. We cheated a little on the depth offset setting up the depth finder but still, it is pretty shallow. At least the bottom is mud but to carry any more water than Egret would require waiting on the tide to rise. So far we have been aground twice. The first was near the entrance to Little River Inlet where sand had pushed out from the inlet channel and I strayed a little to stbd and aground she went. It was coarse sand so the bow rose and then the stern. We wuz aground big time. So we centered the Naiads and put the gear in reverse and lettereat. Before long the bow was floating but the stern was still stuck. After first washing a channel under the keel we put the gear in forward and blew away the lip behind the boat. Then back into reverse and she backed out minus a little slime from the bottom of the keel. The second time we turned into the narrow channel into Mcclellanville to show Dick the shrimping community and all the small shrimpers along the shore. It was low tide and we didn’t get far. So it was back and forth making our own channel in the soft mud and then we were back to the relative safety of the Intracoastal. Thanks goodness for keel cooling. With a keel cooler you have no fear. Conventional raw water cooling like our old Grand Banks would have sent clouds of mud, sand and shell swirling nicely thru the engine. Of course most of the debris would exit the tail pipe except what settled in the engine and muffler.
For sure next time up or down the Intracoastal we will make every effort to head offshore at least from Jacksonville to Beaufort, N.C. bypassing the worst of the shallow areas.
Last night we received an e-mail from a couple who was trying hard to buy Egret. In the end they didn’t have the horsepower to do the deal but it wasn’t for a lack of trying. We are so used to Egret we don’t notice but those who come aboard can’t believe her condition. We hear the same from virtually everyone who has come aboard that follows VofE. Oh well, there are a few more tying to put it together so we’ll see. In the meantime I suppose we’ll have to head to the Keys after the Ft Lauderdale Boat Show and then perhaps to the Bahamas for a couple months. I guess someone has to do it. What are you doing this winter? Oh my.
We’ll leave Georgia with this Happy Face to brighten your day.
OK, so we were on anchor last night in Georgia’s Calibogue Sound and I was checking weather. We have an exceptional weather window with a margin of safety that if it is correct there won’t be a wave over 1 meter between Georgia and Ft Lauderdale. Galibogue Sound is a reasonably deep exit to the Atlantic just north of the Savannah River so this morning just after daylight the little lady put to sea. Currently she is heading south riding the tide at 7.3 knots with the next waypoint at 122nm. There is 8.6 knots of wind with gentle .5m swells on the port quarter. Our course takes us relatively near shore early on and beginning at St Augustine, Florida, tight to shore the balance of the trip to escape the north flowing Gulfstream as well as being close to a bail-out port if the weather swings. So it is nice to be back at sea once again not worrying about the low tide mud. More to follow.
Today went as planned with super calm seas with a touch of motion, and very little wind. In the afternoon, Mary spotted a flying fish so where there are flying fish there be critters to chow on flying fish candy. Bottom line: we put out a couple worms (trolling baits) to see what snaps.
Later in the afternoon there was a security call from a U.S. Navy warship conducting live fire offshore. They required a 15nm box around their position. We checked their position and we wouldn’t close on the box for an hour and a half and the fire was for one hour. Of course they were steaming north and each time they put out a security call they were closer. We called and gave them our position, told them we had them on radar and we would change our course from south to southwest. I told them they have us on radar and if there was any problem we will turn due west or whatever they wish. In the end there wasn’t any problem so after the live fire time we turned back to the original waypoint.
It is 2035 and no snappers, the baits are back aboard so we’ll see what tomorrow brings. The speed during the early hours of the trip was in the 7.3 knot range. Then the speed slowly diminished to 6.4 knots and it has currently climbed back to 6.7 knots. It is all about tide even though now she is 28.2nm offshore of St Mary’s Inlet at the Florida – Georgia border.
Mary had a little surprise during nap chores down below. A small land bird the size of a sparrow flew into the stateroom. She led it to the forward head and it flew out of an open hatch. Later in the afternoon it returned and flew into the salon so apparently it is migrating south aboard Egret. Dick tried to catch it to give it food and water but it flew back out and hid under the little dinghy cover. Hopefully there is water from a rain the other day at the transom.
It was calm overnight with little ship traffic and no recreational boats. It was another beautiful sunrise and before long the worms were back at work. First, Dick caught a bonito which we released. Next, Mary caught a nice fat dolphin (mahi mahi) so we did a filet and release. Later in in the day, Dick caught a tiny sailfish that couldn’t have weighed much more than 2lbs. The bait was longer than it’s bill. (The swim platform slats are about 2.5” for scale) Fortunately as we lifted it aboard to be released it flipped off the hook and all was well.
The day was calm to oily slick to now before dark with a little wind chop and head seas. Speed during the day ranged from 6.4 knots to 7.4 knots at the present. Egret will arrive in Ft Lauderdale late afternoon Wednesday. Soon after we will fire this VofE into space and starting Thursday we begin working on The List beginning with retrieving the Jeep from the Keys so we have transportation. The plan now is to take care of lists, hang around Ft Lauderdale for a few days after the Boat Show, heavy provision and fuel, then head for her slip in Islamorada, Florida Keys for a coupe months.
Mary and I plan to be at the Boat Show opening day (Thursday) and return Friday for the Nordhavn Owners party at Bahia Mar. Perhaps we’ll see you there.
We’ll leave you with a photo of last night’s sunset. The small dark spot at the horizon is a ship.
October 15, 2014
Position: 33 55.06N 78 01.70W Southport Marina, Southport, N.C.
Hello mis amigos, the Egret crew left DC this morning at first light. It took a while to wash the sticky DC mud of the chain and Mary even had to use a boat hook to push large globs of mud off TK. The washdown hose was just taking to long. Then it was a trip to fill the water tank and off she went.
DC was an eye opener for Dickiedoo. He spent all day, every day hustling here and there taking it all in. The first photograph is of the new WWII Memorial looking toward the Atlantic Campaign side. A mirror image of the Pacific Campaign was opposite. The walls leading to the fountain area have bronze sculpture plaques denoting different aspects of the campaigns from the homefront ladies building airplanes to the Navy Seabees to the Army Engineers, and so on. It is Very Well Done. I wish Mary’s and my dad would have had an opportunity to see it. Both were WWII Veterans.
The second two photographs were obviously taken at the Air and Space Museum. Air and Space could easily take two days to see everything and watch the movies.
Mary’s and my DC favorite was dinner last night with cruising buddies Braun and Tina from N64 Ocean Pearl. Before dinner we took the opportunity to encourage Braun to join us Jeeping out west during their off time in the winter. He kept saying he had to many KEYS to Things and one more Thing to worry about and I told him it was no big deal and so it went. When the tears began to flow we laid off a bit. Didn’t want my deck shoes to get all soggy.
We first met B&T in the Bahamas our first winter cruising then later on the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally. We wintered together in both Barcelona and Turkey. During the cruising summer of 2005 we met in Ostia Marina (Rome) for a couple week stay including a trip to Venice. Since then we met here and there in the U.S. B&T & Pearl joined an OCC cruise this summer in the Baltic visiting quite a few countries including a couple weeks in St Petersburg, Russia*. Currently Pearl is on the hard in Southhampton, England until the spring. Of course it’s all about the people. I believe we have said that before.
*Tina writes a great cruising blog complete with killer photographs. If you are considering a Baltic cruise, or any of Pearl’s cruises including the Sushi Run it’s well worth your time to check it out. www.oceanpearlyacht.com You may have to move down a few lines but you’ll quickly find Braun and Tina’s Ocean Pearl.
The little lady just went past George and Martha’s place on a hill overlooking the Potomac. Mt Vernon still looks great. More to follow. The upstream half of the Potomac from Alexandria, Virginia down thru the narrows is the prettiest part of the Potomac.
Later. Did she get a tide push or what? She was rocketing over 8 knots at times barely sipping fuel. We ran to near dark then anchored in the lee of a narrow peninsula. There were no waves. It was a full moon. Of course we had to celebrate with a spot of rum n’ coke. Later Mary fixed a giant lamb roast with veggies and potatoes. D Doo was in heaven. Lamb is quite expensive in New Zealand and D Doo being squeak city he rarely enjoys his favorite. Mary even gave Dick the last of the Kiwi after shave – mint sauce and he was even more thrillder.
The weather has been perfect. It is cool at night and warm during the day. It has been calm with very little rain and no cold days. Hopefully we will keep the Indian summer with us as we head south. Yesterday we reserved a slip at Plantation Yacht Harbor in Islamorada (Florida Keys) for two months beginning November 10th. Our former Keys house was about a mile away so it will be like ye ol’ days. As we reduce our lifestyle to even more simplistic terms I have my eye on the most basic small fishing boat you could imagine. We’ll see after sea trials if it will work like I think in a chop. However that’s another story for another time. In the meantime we’ll enjoy every day chugging south in time to make the Ft Lauderdale International Boat Show.
If you haven’t been to the FLL show, it is the largest boat show in the world. Everyone who is anything in the waterworld business is represented from boat manufactures to engine manufactures and every accessory you could imagine. They are ALL here. It has always been our favorite boat show because you can talk to the builders and engineers directly and not some slick salesman with book knowledge telling you what they think you want to hear. I’m being harsh on my former profession but it’s the truth. I’ve always felt knowledgeable truth was elusive.
Let’s return to Braun and Tina. As we mentioned we became close during the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally, two Med winters together and meeting here at times during the Mediterranean summer. During this years OCC cruise, B&T were joined by two NAR alumnus; Wayne and Pat, formerly from N46 Envoy and John and Sue, still owners of N40 Uno Mas. Their professions were as diverse at the boats; business person, university administrator and banker. Of course the common bond was the NAR and boats. This past year Mary and I stayed with two former NAR alumnus couples; Bill and Arline from N62 Autumn Wind and Dennis and Julie, today from N55 Sea Fox. Plus we met former N55 New Paige owners at their home in British Columbia, Roger, Joan and Paige, first met in Tahiti.
Of course this isn’t about us, it is simply a few examples for when it is Your Time. If you are able to join an adventure like the NAR or make your own adventure with a few or more boats, I promise you it is very worthwhile. On the west coast, the FUBAR is a many boat adventure you may join plus it is easy to organize an Alaska adventure because so many boats head north in the summer. This year two large N’s traveled to Greenland together, one returned and the other continued on to Iceland and is currently in the Faeroes (islands) waiting for weather to cross to Scotland. We received an e-mail yesterday from N46 Starlet who is leaving soon to meet 18 other boats in Cyprus who plan to transit the Red Sea then head east. The world is a big place and there is a lot to see. Doing it with a group can be great fun.
And while we’re talking about other boats, Heidi and Wolfgang from N46 Kanaloa arrived recently in Dana Point, California completing their THIRD circumnavigation aboard Kanaloa. Plus they completed another circumnavigation under sail for a total of FOUR circumnavigations, all passing below Africa. What an amazing accomplishment!
Congratulations to this ever young couple for Doing The Deal.
OK, so we ran down the Potomac and into the Chesapeake, then around the corner and anchored for the evening at Hospital Point in Norfolk. Dick wore out his girl camera battery taking snapshots of the U.S. Navy warships. There were quite a few carriers docked, some Aegis class ships and handfuls of destroyers and other specialty ships. I can’t imagine the cumulative knowledge in Norfolk and the surrounding towns pertaining to maintaining The Fleet.
The past couple times heading past the Naval Shipyards toward the entrance to the Ditch (Intracoastal Waterway) we came across this pair of transformer looking type sorta like giant creatures. Anyhow, they aren’t the usual container cranes. If you look at the photograph closely, one leg rides on top of the warehouse.
Being a weekend we were able to get thru the bridges easily, then transited the Great Bridge Lock, the only lock on the Intracoastal. The stbd side has bumpers so there isn’t any need for fenders. The lock personnel come by and take your bow and stern line, loop it over a cleat and pass it back to you. After the lock fills it is easy to pull the short end back aboard. The lift or drop is minimal and there isn’t much current when filling. The lock is primarily a sea/fresh water barrier. Now you are in fresh water and a good time to run the wing and give it a flush job.
(www.waterwayguide.com has an Intracoastal Waterway bridge list with heights and opening schedules that may be printed. They also maintain current fuel prices up and down the ditch. When checking fuel prices it is important to make sure the price includes tax. Usually there is a quantity discount as well. Atlantic Yacht Basin for example gives a $.05 discount per gallon for 200 gallons or more. Big fills are always negotiated.)
To stbd after the lock is a free municipal dock available for 1 night stays. It’s a handy stop because down the street is a shopping center with all the stuff plus a little farther on the right is a mom and pop diner that serves a killer breakfast. So we did both.
Immediately leaving the municipal dock heading southbound there is a bridge, Great Bridge Bridge, (the town is Great Bridge) that opens on the hour. Pusher tugs and barges are common on the Ditch running after dark. This one was passing thru GBB shortly before dark. The reason not many private boats run this portion of the Ditch after dark is because of logs and deadheads. During the day they are easy to spot and dodge. Just after GBB to stbd is Atlantic Yacht Basin where it is Egret tradition to stop for fuel. This year we took on 500 gallons at $3.20 U.S.P./gallon. The fuel will get the little lady to Florida with tons to spare. Once in FLL we’ll take what we need by truck behind a private home (Anchor Petroleum).
The plan is to run south down the Ditch to Beaufort, N.C. then offshore to either Charleston or Jacksonville if Ms. Ocean is reasonably behaved. If not, we’ll slug it out down the un-interesting part of the Ditch. Currently she is 3.0nm from exiting Albermarle Sound in North Carolina. We’ll anchor on the other side of the Alligator River Swing Bridge at Intracoastal mile marker 84.2. The last bridge in FLL (Ft Lauderdale) before turning into her dock is at the 1060.6 mile marker. Direct as the crow flies distance between here and FLL is 633nm. More to follow.
OK, so now we’re settling into the Ditch Life. The upper part of the Intracoastal still has a few swing bridges. Some are timed on the hour and half-hour and others like the Alligator River Swing Bridge are on demand. Nearly all of the mid Atlantic states’ bridges have been replaced by a high bridge with a 65’ minimum clearance at high tide. Sailboats built in the U.S. typically have a 64’ mast or shorter. European boats of any size have taller masts so they have to pick and choose their east coast destinations.
Other than crossing a couple large sounds the Intracoastal is truly a ditch with protected water. It is shallow in places so the larger boats with wheels that touch first have to be super careful. Keel cooled boats have No Fear. When you know who stuffs their precious in the mud we simply put the gearshift in R and lettereat. Before long the big 4 blade washes a channel under the keel and she is back on course. Fortunately the run aground spots are mud or sand without any rocks. There are rocks and tree stumps along the channel but they are evident so it is rare except in dumb attack cases any boats hits rock or stumps.
There is always something interesting in the more narrow sections. Mainly wildlife and oddities you don’t see often. It all begins with marker #1 and heads south from there. Farther along the way we came across a very rare sight. It is usual to have ospreys nesting on top of markers the entire length of the Intracoastal. In the spring the fledgling ospreys are a sight to see. In this case we thought it was very unusual to first of all have two ospreys side by side and secondly, so close to the water. I can’t remember seeing an osprey perched lower to the water. So we snapped a few shots as we passed and were dying not to have our big lens (back in Florida) just for times like this. (This is a highly cropped shot) After a close look in the computer we saw the ospreys were in fact a young pair of bald eagles. How cool is that?
Later in the day we came across our Shrimp Place. The doors were still open so we pulled up to the dock and asked a local fisherman gassing up his skiff if they were open for business and he muttered something in a foreign southern tongue that somewhat resembled English. So Dick looped a bow line over a pile and we laid Egret next to the dock riding on her giant rub rails. The current was ripping so with a turn of the wheel she was pinned to the dock and we didn’t need extra lines. Mary got off and went inside to ask about shrimp. It was another star wars bar scene with some local fellahs hangin round. Mary asked about buying shrimp and one of the goodolboys drawled something lik, watdishesa? A lady repeated what Mary said in local speak so that got things rolling. Mary bought 10 lbs of the largest shrimp. Tese shrimps jus come frum de ocn. Giantgreatus shrimps. So that was cool. Of course we had shrimps last night for dinner. Lotsum.
Looking at www.passageweather.com for the first time anticipating heading offshore from Beaufort, North Carolina, we saw it was nightmare city offshore. There is a major storm well offshore that is forecast to track toward the UK. Behind it is a second storm forecast to follow the same route. Of course it is much too early to accurately forecast the second storm. In any case, it appears the little lady will be an Intracoastal weenie until at least the Cape Fear exit into the Atlantic (North Carolina south of Beaufort). So we’ll see.
We’re trying to give you as much information as we can from Nova Scotia south to Florida. We have said it a number of times; Nova Scotia, the U.S. East Coast and the Bahamas are some of the best cruising anywhere. This area can be explored for years, and for those who would like to head Out, it is the perfect place to put in your obligatory baby steps to learn your boating skills with very little chance of a costly penalty.
That’s it for now. Hopefully we can get this posting fired into space before long.
Egret is for sale. http://youtu.be/AAR5wK-sWRs
October 6, 2014
Position: 38 52.61N 77 01.54W On anchor, Washington, DC
Hello mis amigos, the little lady is under way from Annapolis toward Washington DC continuing Dicks grand East Coast tour. In the early morning before leaving Baltimore I got up for a nature call and looked out the portlight at the city. So out we went and snapped a couple parting shots of the city then went back to bed. We left at first light and as we passed the Domino’s Sugar plant there was a ship being unloaded by three bucket cranes. Sugar city for sure.
Here’s the Trawlerfest deal. We always tell things how they really are and we will here even if it is a bit negative. In all fairness, Mary’s and my presentation was added 3 weeks before the event but it was handled poorly from the beginning. We won’t go into detail but we had a Very Small audience that should have been 10 times larger at a minimum. The times and venue got switched at the last minute and no one was notified. After the presentation Mary ran into two ladies literally in tears because they missed the session. These people Paid for the presentation, Took Off Work, and got Hotel Rooms. The positive part was we kept Egret open during the 4 day event so folks got to stop by for a tour and got their questions answered. What was surprising was the high percentage of people that stopped by who follow VofE and quite a few have seen the videos produced by PAE.
OK, enough of that. However, it got the wheels turning so let’s talk about it. VofE is a voluntary thing and there isn’t any compensation. Same for Trawlerfest. Same for any venue Mary and I or Egret has participated. Ever. We have taken it upon ourselves to educate wanabe cruisers what it is really like to cruise, particularly long distance cruise under power. In our personal case we took a giant leap of faith to do what we did, sell the Stuff and head Out. VofE type of information wasn’t available during our dreaming and early doing stages. One thing we found in the past and it was particularly evident at Trawlerfest was when we talk one – on – one or in a group where we can answer questions, people leave floating on a cloud of inspiration and determination in most cases.
I told Mary we should put on our own event. Small, intimate with a few high quality speakers plus ourselves over a long weekend so after the event people would have All their questions answered. Questions people Really Need To Know before they head Out. Serious people who want to learn, not collect catalogs. Questions answered by ladies who have Done the Deal for ladies in their own seminar. Basic engine room and systems guy stuff. All the stuff. Anyhow, we are going to think about it. Hummmm.
OK, so we left Baltimore and made the intrepid 20nm run to Annapolis, Maryland in super calm seas. There is a deep hole off the yacht club to port on entering the harbor and it’s Our Spot. Mary fired TK down in 44’ and out went 150’ of chain plus snubber. We rarely use a short 3/1 scope but there was no more than 7 mph (not knots) of wind predicted for a week and if we did drag she would have to drag uphill out of the hole. TK is a Very Bad Boy so that isn’t going to happen. Anchoring deep also guarantees no coastal weenie cruiser will anchor anywhere close.
When we were Egret newbies after spending our previous anchoring careers in water we could stand in or at least see the bottom, we anchored in 18’ in Nassau (Bahamas). Wow, did we anchor deep or what? That’s what we thought at the time. The deepest Egret ever did anchor was 62’ off the village of Rikitea, island of Mangareva, Gambier Island Group, 850nm south of Tahiti.
Anyhow, we dinghy explored Annapolis every night and walked thru town during the day. We took D Doo on a Naval Academy tour, which was inspirational as always. John Paul Jones’ crypt was the focal point. He was an amazing man and after all he did for the country he died in poverty in France at an early age. One hundred years after his death the American Ambassador to France spent 4 years trying to locate is coffin and finally did in an abandoned church gravesite. Jones’ body was returned to the U.S. with full military honors and now resides at the Academy.
When we arrived in Annapolis there was a very authentic, full size replica of a 1500’s Spanish galleon* at the downtown docks. It had come from Baltimore and perhaps it was on its way to Washington, DC. It left one morning and we caught a shot of the galleon and a modern passagemaker from the dinghy. Both boats were built close to the same year but they are a somewhat different design. Can you imagine how much more comfortable the N76 (Trixie) is than the galleon? The galleon probably doesn’t even have the very basics like a cheap but good enough wine cooler or even a washer/dryer. Or even a watermaker? Imagine filling barrels from a stream with swamp water and that’s what you Drink? And then lugging the barrels back in a dinghy without a 2 stroke Yamadog outboard? Imagine those conditions?
Of course the 1500’s galleons were the originators of Egret’s CCOM, Coffeecarryometer. I’m sure they have one of those on board and the N76 doesn’t. To see what a CCOM is you’ll have to go to the Egretisims at the bottom of the posting.
Trixie’s long distance goal is Fiji. Wouldn’t that be fun?
*As you know, Egret wintered in Barcelona, 2004-5. Within sight of F Dock was the same building still in tact where they built the 1500’s fleets of discovery and plunder. The waterfront used to reach the front doors for launching but these days the building is a full city block from the water. Today the building is a maritime museum.
Currently it is 0857 on Thursday. Egret is making the 3 day trek to Washington, DC. The Bay is slick calm. There is no wind. She is running at 1500 rpm making 7.4 knots. However it won’t be long before she runs out of the tide push and she will slow for the rest of the day. Bummer. More to follow.
OK, so we changed our minds and turned right to Solomon’s, Maryland. Check out all the docks. You can see why Solomon’s is such a yachtie destination. We attended an early Trawlerfest in Solomon’s and had a great time. We have been back a couple times over the years and stopped by to show Dickiedoo what’s whippin. Dick took the dinghy and went to the CalvertMaritime Museum for a while then we took a long dinghy ride around Solomon’s. The highlight was spotting a pristine 32’ Grand Banks like our first trawler, Proud Mary. Of course PM was nicer. This gent chugged by late in the day. Check out the dry stack. And he is wearing a Lauderdale Marina tee shirt. I used to buy fuel from Lauderdale Marina when I was 12 for my 11’ race/fishing boat with a 7 1/2hp Evinrude outboard. That was a few years back.
It is another beautiful fall day. It is early morning, sunny and a little cool out of the sun here in the Bay. She is making 6.6 knots running at 1500 rpm against the tide. The Naiads are centered. Currently Egret is 9.3nm from the turning waypoint into the Potomac River. What will today bring? Where will she anchor for the night? Don’t have a clue. Isn’t that great?
Later. So we rode the tide until a couple hours before dark and when the tide swung and her speed dropped to 5.6 knots we turned left and anchored off a deserted shore. Incidentally, when you are cruising there are very few rules. For the most part, anchor where you wish. You don’t need a designated anchorage, just a place to keep out of marine traffic and be comfortable. In this case the chart showed a sand and mud bottom, the wind was from the east so we anchored on the east side of the Potomac. This meant there were no waves and the tide kept the bow into the tide. It would have been a different story on the west side of the Potomac. It rained at night and most of the night we could hear bumps from floating debris hitting the boat. In the morning we were surrounded by floating sticks and small logs riding the tide.
This morning we left soon after first light, around 0700, and headed up-river. TK and the chain came up clean so we must have lucked out and gotten the sand part of the mud and sand shown on the chart. The tide was still ripping on the fall so the early speed was in the 4.6 knots range and it has been climbing all morning. It is currently 1010 and the speed is 6.5 knots. By 1300 it will probably be over 7 knots. We began the day running to waypoints but soon abandoned that to hand steering to miss the crab floats and debris. Some logs were quite large and they aren’t something any small boat would want to hit. Running at night would be for deep draft commercial vessels.
Egret arrived in Washington, DC at 1310. The wind was puffing to 30 knots. Mary fired TK down in 24’ at high tide, plus we are on a moon and rain to boot so the water was over the seawall at the park behind the anchorage. The waterfront is under construction. Capitol Yacht Club is in the midst of getting brandy new Bellingham Marine floating docks and a new clubhouse. Unfortunately the clubhouse won’t be completed for 2 years but at least their temporary quarters aren’t bad.
Today was our first full day in town so off we went. D Doo headed to the Air and Space Museum of course and spent the entire day putzing around his planes. (Dick was a fixed wing and helicopter pilot for his career). Mary and I hit a couple museums and a photo exhibit at the Museum Of Natural History. The photos were great except for the oversaturated colors but the exhibit was selling Wilderness Areas for a group of conservation far right wingers. We’re really big on conservation as you know but this is so far right wrapped up in preserving America that it misrepresents, in my opinion, what it’s all about. The areas they are establishing are for foot traffic only. This means the interior access is for young people, or at least super fit people who are willing to hike and camp to see the interior other than a fringe walk-in peek at ‘wilderness’. Anyhow, I won’t get up on The Box and rant but the presentation is very misrepresentative of the goals of the program which is basically no human access to areas WE own and would like to enjoy, the same as National Parks.
Here’s a couple early shots of Washington. The first is iconic Americana. The second is a stall from the really great fish market next to the Yacht Club. I think Mary may have had a message with the crab shot.
Egret is for sale. http://youtu.be/AAR5wK-sWRs
Ed. Note - The glossary of Egretism terms will be posted on the Captain's Log home page for easy reference.